Turncoat Uber Driver Reveals Plans for Arcade City
I still don't understand how this idea can support itself against the competition, but I guess it has something to do with swarms.
This guy went from being Uber's biggest defender on the New Hampshire Seacoast to the guy plotting its demise.
Christopher David from Dover started off his notoriety by continuing to drive his Uber car around Portsmouth after the city passed a new ordinance. It was illegal for him to be operating at that time, but Chris is a Free Stater and those guys are not big fans of terms like "laws."
He started the Free Uber movement, which unsuccessfully tried to change the ordinance requiring proof of commercial insurance and criminal background checks. Uber had its own insurance and background checks, city doesn't care, taxi drivers want Uber out of town, blah blah blah read this article for more details on that whole thing.
The former "Rogue Uber Driver" has shifted his efforts from trying to keep Uber in Portsmouth to running them out of business entirely with his own app, Arcade City.
Basically, he wants to make an Uber-like app that has no central command and puts the power in the hands of the drivers. There would be no set fares and passengers would pay what they think is fair.
I met Chris when I interviewed him during the Free Uber controversy last year and he is very passionate liberty, but I am not sure I see a future with his "Uber-Killer." I watched the above video explaining his plan and it just seems a more idealistic than realistic.
First of all, riders will most certainly take advantage of the "pay-what-you-want" system Arcade City is planning. There are a lot of people out there that will pay way below a fair price with an Arcade City driver and then hop back onto Uber. It would be a great idea if so many people weren't jerks.
Second, while Chris is a bit too eager to fight a losing battle against laws and regulations. Sure he can make some noise, and has the Free State Project's support, but I don't think that will be enough to play with the big boys. He is planning a nationwide launch for his app and all of the consequences that come with it.
Lastly, while the drawings of pyramids and swarms are neat in concept, I just don't see the general public putting their trust in Arcade City. People want to feel safe and know that there is some sort of system in place when they use a ridesharing service. A sense of security they may not have when they see that the app is planning very little oversight.
I am no fan of taxis and hate the rude drivers and high fares I've experienced using them. Uber has been a great experience since I started using it a few years ago, but I also understand it has a long way to go to balance profits with the driver/passenger experience. I'm hoping that Uber, or Lyft, changes the game enough to force taxi companies to evolve and create a competitive playing field that can only be good for passengers.
Will Arcade City be a player in this future of improved transportation? My gut says "no," but then again I am just some guy working at some radio stations. We will all just have to see how it all plays out.